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Grateful Dead Live at Capitol Theatre on 1971-02-19

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Grateful Dead Live at Capitol Theatre on 1971-02-19

Topics Live concert

This show has been commercially released as "Three From The Vault"

Truckin', Loser, Cumberland Blues, It Hurts Me Too, Bertha, Playing In The Band, Dark Hollow, Smokestack Lightnin', China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider Greatest Story Ever Told > Johnny B. Goode, Bird Song, Easy Wind, Deal, Cryptical Envelopment > Drums > The Other One > Wharf Rat, Good Lovin', Casey Jones

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Capitol Theatre
Location Port Chester, NY

Source Soundboard
Lineage 7inch two track BBD reel w/ Dolby A @ 7 1/2 ips > PCM501ES @ 44.055 kHz > PCM501ES analog out > Fostex D5 @ 48 kHz (Dolby not decoded?) > WAV > Cool Edit Pro (filtering and sample rate conversion) > SHN


7" two track BBD reel w/ Dolby A @ 7 1/2 ips > PCM501ES @ 44.055 kHz
PCM501ES analog out > Fostex D5 @ 48 kHz (Dolby not decoded?) > WAV >
Cool Edit Pro (filtering and sample rate conversion) > SHN data files
(seed); mono; slight whine reduced with notch filter (see info file for details and other flaw notes);
via WBOTB tree (site includes covers)

The recording is in mono, and reflects very occasional analog tape flaws such as bursts of flutter. These flaws are from the master. The lineage information available states that Dolby A decoding was not performed, but the sound is nevertheless very good and does not sound compressed.

As with the other Port Chester recordings, a slight whine comes and goes throughout the recording. We have applied a very light notch filter as needed. The filtering was accomplished using Cool Edit Pro, and consisted of a sequence of notch filters at and around 8k, approximately 1 kHz wide and only 2 db in depth. The filtering was mainly during the in-between banter but also on the songs where required - more so in the 2nd set. In The Other One there were two short bursts of static that appear to have come from the stage, and these were reduced in level. No other filtering was performed.

As indicated in the set list, Bird Song is cut. There are also several cuts on the master during crowd noise before Truckin' starts the first
set, but who cares?

Indicated timings in info file are of the music, not of the track.


Reviewer: Mind Wondrin - favoritefavoritefavorite - October 28, 2015
Subject: Songs were saved for East Coast premiers

darryizer (review below) has it nailed. It's an up and down show (like most of '71) and like TxIronman points out, not the best of the run - though this isn't one of the best runs of '71 anyway (unlike late April @ The Fillmore East, both August tours and a couple others). They played new stuff but much of it's not fully developed and there's some shaky playing. Mickey abruptly departed during this run - though it didn't have too much effect (Billy claims he personally played better when he didn't have to synch with Mickey and that Jer took cues better). So, the historicalness of that and all the new songs is more renowned than the performances. Since they were carting around an 8-track machine, it's frustrating that this was the show chosen from these tours for Three from the Vault. The previous night is slightly better but the run (and the year) otherwise progresses in quality.

1st Set:  B-
2nd Set: C
Overall = 3 Stars

Bertha - speedy version with great early arrangement
Dark Hollow - electric version played neat
Smokestack - everybody circles the jam, both together and independently
Bird Song - 1st one is very under-developed but solid/charming
Easy Wind - Not one of the best from the year but when Pig's on, he's on

SOURCES: The orf.1029 is great, there's a decent matrix and Three from the Vault.
Reviewer: clementinescaboose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 1, 2015
Subject: Strong despite the loss of Mickey
Though 2/18 is a better show, the band holds things together very well this night, as I'm sure the loss of Hart was already weighing on them. The Capitol shows would only get worse from here, as the energy seems to dissipate as this run progresses - they wouldn't be back in form until mid-March imo.

Nevertheless, there are definitely some highlights in this show. Smokestack finds a relaxed groove with some sweet playing. Easy Wind is strong, though not as definitive as the best versions from 1970. China>Rider and Truckin are very nice. The Other One is quite good as well, though the band never really gels around a strong theme, rather skittering between moments of brief but inspired interplay. The highlight of the show may be the Good Lovin, which easily holds its own with the monster April 71 performances. Pigpen has a memorable rap while the band lays down an infectious R&B flavored groove, with excellent interplay; Bob is particularly inspired, with his typical funky, slashing fills, pushing Phil and Jerry to great heights.
Reviewer: Darrylizer - favoritefavoritefavorite - September 29, 2008
Subject: Flub-a-dub
Nice playing but there are too many lyrical flubs for me to rate this higher: Cumberland and Loser are a bit wobbly. Playing is tentative, doesn't have those great jams that came later. On the upside Dark Hollow and all the Pigpen sung songs are well done. The Smokestack Lightning is nice, a solid rendition. Following that is a excellent China Cat/Rider. Greatest Story is decent as is Johnny B. Goode. Unfortunately Bird Song has a big cut in the middle essentially erasing the jam, and it was a pretty good version for its debut. The real meat of this show happens at Cryptical thru the Good Lovin. The Other One is nice tho not very long, and the Wharf Rat that follows is fantastic. The Good Loving is a keeper too. Its a good show but the new songs are pretty shaky, add that to the big cut in Bird Song and I gotta give this one a three. Worth a listen to be sure but not mindblowing. BTW the recording is excellent.
Reviewer: bomberman - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 6, 2008
Subject: No Mickey...No Problem!
For a 1st show without their super-rhythmic half of the percussion section they do a pretty damn good job. The 1st set sparkles as noted earlier with a China>Rider that smokes to close the set. The second set kicks off with energy overload and then the debut of Bird Song which is done rather well, especially for a first-timer. The Cryptical>Drums>Other One>Wharf Rat is excellent as well but the main highlight of this concert is PIGPEN! He totally seems to drive everyone forward with unbelievable versions of Smokestack, Easy Wind and a Lovelightesque Good Lovin'. Even the Casey Jones, which has been ruined for me by the years of commercial over-airplay, kicks total ass to close the evening.

To quickly sum it up, a top-notch performance with great sound quality...5 stars all the way.

Oh how I long to take my children to a GD show! They may never know what they're missing.
Reviewer: rollandfin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 1, 2006
Subject: Good Good stuff
If 2/18 is the Classic, then 2/19 surely is its companion,
SmokeStack and Easy Wind are at there finest, This is Ripe 71 with a little 70 hangover.

Happy to share with good listeners, email me at
Reviewer: gruUbic - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 30, 2006
Subject: Piglicious
Agreed - Awesome Easywind.

This rocks but equalizer help suggested. I listened to this show for years on tape before the internet came to town
--- thx

so much fun itwas.
Reviewer: familiarfan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 1, 2006
Subject: less and less
How often was Easy Wind done after this night in 71'?
From this point in 71' to the extreme later parts of August, were really the last of the more heavy concerts(that is a factually opinion).
Reviewer: toneslave - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 23, 2005
Subject: Unbelievably Cosmic Pigpen's Easy Wind
This show has *the* definitive, most unbelievably tight version of Easy Wind, with Pigpen guiding the boys, chugging along like a pyrotechnic freight train through a completely cosmic, harmonically perfect jam. This bit of Grateful Dead history encompasses all of what they are to me and what I love about them, with the perfect synthesis of Jerry and Bob's psychedelia- and blues-tinged master guitar work, Phil's melodic bass, and a driving, rudiment-filled drum section provided by Bill and Mickey. And the *solos* they take - the astonishing, needlepoint interchange of Pigpen's harmonica, then Bobby, then Jerry - are the stuff of what makes the legend of the Grateful Dead, proves what incredibly competent, consummate musicians they were, and how important they are to American music's cultural history, just as important as jazz or folk art. Hearing the jazz-inflected interchange between the musicians in this song truly brings to mind a vision of ballin' that jack in the middle of Virginia's Shenendoah Valley of my childhood, making way for the great steaming dragons to come - then the boys just take us to Mars. It just doesn't get any better than this - all previous versions of this song live were just rehearsals for this night's Easy Wind, and hearing this version of the song never fails to send chills up my spine, make my hair stand on end, and bring tears to my eyes - thank you so very, very much all at for providing this important piece of music history to all of us lucky enough to hear it - it took me 30 years to find it online after listening to it on an ever-deteriorating cassette copy, and now I have it in digital MP3 for good! I can't express just how ecstatic I am now!!! Thank You, long live Pigpen and the Grateful Dead - you all will never be forgotten for your phenomenal, masterful contributions to great music.
Reviewer: dr. flashback - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 14, 2005
Subject: Top Ten for 71
Well I can't really add much to the praise Mr. C gives this show, except to say that I'm glad to know someone else out there loves this show as much as me. One of the first tapes Dr. Flashback traded for back in the 80's, and the first show I collected from this run (thanks Belinda). This show sneaks up behind you, taps you on the shoulder and then steals your face!
Sure, there are some "garage band moments" here and there, but overall, they play like they were recording it for an album (heh,heh ....they were actually) and with the passage of time, this night still stands out as well played, and also as having that ineffable X factor magic, not only with the songs, but also in the synergy of the band interaction with the crowd. Maybe it was because this was the first show without Mickey and they were trying harder. Or maybe it was the bomb scares they had during this run. Whatever the reason, Jerry chose tonight to debut Deal and Bird Song, say no more, wink wink, nudge nudge.

Tight and dynamic version of Truckin, Cumberland and a China>Rider that closes the set on a high note. The song selection also is a plus here for me, with nice rarities like Smokestack and Dark Hollow that are well worn in from 1970 and strong here. Hard to believe the Bird Song is the debut!! Although the rest of the band is learning it and lay back - it's more like a solo acoustic Jerry from 1980 and sweet, if short. Both Wharf Rat and Loser are 2nd timers here, and are already finding their groove.

There are 3 Other Ones in this 6 night run, and this is my favorite. It spins, tumbles and rumbles as the bus takes off, and what a roller coaster it is - with wailing leads from Jerry, thunder from Bill and a vibrant Pigpen organ presence in the mix! Easily as good as the version they released later on "Skull F*@#", if not quite as long. Also to top it off, a great Good Lovin from Pig brings the house down.

2/18 is an excellent show, hands down, but this one shines a little brighter for me. Download it first and compare, I think you'll agree. Get ready to boogie, slip, flip and then trip!
Dr. Flashback ;-)
Reviewer: Mark C. - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 21, 2004
Subject: 2-19-71
The Feb. 71 Port Chester run was the jewel in the crown of the Betty Boards. Thankfully, the copy of 2-19 has not been degraded as much as the other nights, and you can get a feel for how extraordinary the quality of these recordings were. This is a very clean recording.

The most popular show of the run from universal acclaim is 2-18, the first night. The reasons are several: set list, historical significance of last show with Mickey and first show for many tunes that became permanent fixtures in the repetoire (Bertha, Playing in the Band, Wharf Rat, etc. etc.), as well as the small fact that 2-18 contained some extraordinary beautiful musical moments, most notably the "beautiful" jam in Dark Star.

Having said that, 2-19 is probably the cleanest performance of the entire run. This show could have been released commercially with nary an edit. While the other nights are very sloppy in places--and recognizing that this is partly due to many of the songs being new--nonetheless 2-19 stands out as the tightest and cleanest show in the run, though it is not my favorite.

Also, 2-19 would be considered the "Pig-Pen night," as besides staples Good Lovin and It Hurts Me Too, we get Easy Wind and Smokestack Lightnin, which are rarer. Pig fans will undoubtedly prefer this show.

Overall the show is very strong. The Other One is about 11 minutes and though starting off powerfully, never steps out of the box. I prefer the 2-23 version. The Wharf Rat that follows is terrific. The end jam is excellent.

One of the unexpected highlights is Dark Hollow. This acoustic set tune was rarely performed electrically, and when so, did not have the same charm. This version is an exception. I could easliy see this Dark Hollow on a "director's cut" Skull Fuck. It is exceptional in every way.

But for me the highlight of the entire show is the Know You Rider. In this period (winter 70-71 through spring 71) the tune achieved its canonical form. It seems that with each performance, in the second and final solo, Jerry was having a musical converstion not just with the boys, but with himself.

Each solo is different, and each restates the Know-You-Rider musical statement in a new way, while acknowledging its antecedents. My very favorites, those that I have been listening to for maybe a quarter of a century by now, are 11-6-70, 11-23-70, 4-5-71, and 4-27-71.

This version from 2-19 belongs in this exalted company. At points, Garcia's bends are reminiscent of Clarence White, the late great guitarist from the Byrds. Jerry really outdoes himself in this one. The entire band sound like demi-Gods. And this is why I give this recording 5 stars.

If you are cherry picking your way through the archive, you MUST download the China Cat->Rider.
Reviewer: TxIronman - favoritefavoritefavorite - August 18, 2004
Subject: Try 2/18 and 2/24 instead
Sounds great, but this is not the best of this great run. Smokestack is nice and the 3rd disk flows very nicely but I preferred 2/18 and 2/24 instead.
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Uploaded by
Jonathan Aizen
on 8/17/2004
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Source: Vault PCM Master->DAT.DAT->ZA2->Soundforge->.wav->mkw->SHN.Transfer and SHN by Joe Samaritano.